15 September 2013

Pageant and College and Singles Ward, OH MY!

If you weren't aware, the moment  you turn 18, your whole life is yanked up, sloshed around in the wash machine on an extremely high speed, and spat out in a completely different shape. It's kind of like accidentally touching a portkey for the very first time on your birthday and arriving somewhere completely different.
I'm guessing to an outside source it really wouldn't seem that different. But that's a bit of how it feels. Most of it is good, I'm sure. First, the week before school started, I went to this totally amazing, radical magic convention in Las Vegas called MagicLive! It was my very first time and I absolutely loved it. They have a giant showroom with several dealers selling super cool new and old magic, workshops with incredible, accomplished performers, and then the best magic shows ever to top off each night! I wish I could properly express the awesomeaucity that occurred. The whole thing was the epitome of radicality, but I did have some favorites.
Tina Lenert has always been one of my "magic-world" heroes. Her signature piece is this adorable pantomime-magic-act she does as a janitor. I have always loved and been inspired by her loyalty to story. She spoke about her life and the creation of that number, and how important taking the feelings from our stories and infusing them to the ones we tell on stage is.
Another is Joanie Spina, choreographer for David Copperfield, along with many other successful claims. Her brain and heart work so well together. She creates and does amazing things. In her lecture, she discussed her experience in helping out a performer named Patrick. She was amazing. Definitely read the previous post below for more on MagicLive! and photos.
College is extremely collegey. I have very much enjoyed getting to know my professors. Dr. Seifert is my favorite so far, my English 110 professor. Westminster does this really cool thing for Freshman called "Learning Communities." You choose an LC, which is two separate classes that work together
to teach you how they relate. It'd odd to explain but very cool. It's very clever because the students are able to meet people with their same interests and, especially for us artists, collaborate constantly. My LC is Composition & Reseach (English 110) and Music Appreciation. I've been around music my whole life and still only know able three things about it. I'm loving learning about the whole new world.
College is an exceeding amount of homework. It's mostly reading and quizzes, and I love to read, but when you also have a couple papers to write, it can get a little crazy. But prioritizing is good! I'm also working at an elementary school in the mornings, which is a wonderful experience already. It has made me realize that I definitely don't want to be a teacher, but I admire and love schoolteachers thoroughly and I'm excited for my future family more than anything. I have so much to learn before then.
College is a much larger change than I thought about it being, mostly because I'm not in a musical, on a Shakespeare team, or studying Hamlet. I miss that world, very much. Most days I'm counting the minutes until I can fill out mission papers and be in the MTC (315 days if anyone was wondering). But change is good, and Westminster is a beautiful school. I'm also starting to do a lot of my own performing, which excites me. My first big gig is a seven-minute set a the Magic in the Rockies Convention in October. I'm so ultra pumped! Yeah, I went to the singles ward. It was really, really weird. The church is true wherever you go, but I'll keep investigating for a student ward at WC and stay with my family in the meantime.
Oh, and don't laugh. Okay, you can laugh. I competed in the Miss Murray Pageant this year. It was a really good experience where I learned good things, such as being a Miss is 98.5% about serving your community. Every contestant and committee member was so kind and helpful, which very pleasantly surprised me. Any of those girls would be a fabulous Miss Murray, and congratulations to the 2014, McCall Gray! I had a lot of fun becoming friends with them and performing on my home stage one more time.

Piece of MagicLive!

        YAWN. My lips stretch over my entire face as the invisible Exhaustion Monster creeps up my throat and out of my mouth. I accidentally glance at my daddy and the Monster bites him too. We each finish our yawns as we stumble into the theatre, another early morning session after a very late evening. Here we are at MagicLive!, a week-long, complete submersion of learning, buying, talking about, and showing off magic. Lectures in the morning, workshops in the afternoon, shows in the evening, and endless brainstorming, chatting, and rehearsing all night. Not to mention a big change of heart, speedily on its way to me and my career. 
This convention is, without a doubt, the best four days of my whole summer. As we find our seats in the theatre, we’re weary but very anxious to know who takes the stage to bring their very professional, experience-oriented, and possibly invaluable wisdom. I open my official, laminated, designer MagicLive! binder and flip to Monday’s schedule and slide my finger down to my session. My eyes widened so quickly and largely my heart must have leaped right up out of them. There it was: her wonderful name, in 11 point font, Times New Roman. This was real life. THE Tina Lenert  was about to give me marvelous advice, right in front of my eyes and wide-open ears. Oh, and I guess 900 other magicians were there too. 
Mrs. Tina Lenert is a delightful performer who has a wonderfully entertaining career. Her signature piece is called “Mr. Mop Man,” where she plays a lonely janitor, accidentally stepping into an enchanting romance. However, Tina’s magic doesn’t come only from her clever use of props and extraordinary mop. The performance is a beautiful story the gives the audience the gift of so many real and relatable emotions. 
Tina’s lecture was all about small “moments” in her life she used as the process to create the piece. For example, she told us about her first experience seeing the movie “The Rocky.” There was a simple, romantic instant between Rocky and Adrian that affected her very emotionally and directly, therefore she wanted to share that same impression with her audiences. It then became so clear as to why everything I felt when she performed was so real, because she had her honest heart infused all over it.
As if that wasn’t fulfilling enough, Wednesday’s speaker was none other than Joanie Spina, David Copperfield’s choreographer and simply one of my favorite artists in the entire industry. Her presentation was focused on a consultation she recently did for a magician named Patrick Thernes. I watched the (sadly, but honestly) pathetic videos of different stages of his act. The lecture concluded with a performance from Patrick himself, now full of life, story, and great feelings. I definitely cried as he took his magnanimous applause in tears, his heart so full of thanks to Joanie. 
Joanie echoed to us the advice and concepts she gave to Patrick, all very unique and brilliant ideas. She wasn’t up there telling me how to perform. She was showing me. Simply the way she carried herself was flawless; she was powerful, personal, magical. My entire performing tactics completely changed just sitting there on the edge of that auditorium chair, scrambling to capture every word dancing from her mouth to glue it to my paper. Joanie taught me that my magic isn’t for me at all, it’s a gift to my audience that I’m honored to have them receive.
“Magic” can require a lot of skill and hours of polishing rehearsals. That’s good, you should always work hard for where you want to be. However, in these few short days, Tina and Joanie taught me real magic. Real magic is taking the pure moments from your life and appreciating what you learn and feel from them. Real magic telling a story to the audience, something can hold on to in their hearts, not just taking their applause. Real magic is honing your talents to the best of your ability and then vigorously using them to help others as much as you can.
Real magic is what I want in my shows. As soon as I arrived home and began revising my act with what I learned, I knew I was finally on the right track. I feel so different, so much better when I perform now. I certainly have a long way to go, but putting the value of story into action and thinking of the audience instead of myself has made me a little bit more of the performer I want to become. I am so grateful for the education I receive just by living around and listening to other human beings. What incredible creatures. There’s no more time to yawn, for there’s magic to do.
Awaiting the Tina Lenert Lecture
Hotel Room Picnic because Awesome.

Delicious mexican food!

Adam London, Live at The D! Great show.

Tomsoni & Co. - Final Show at MagicLive! Emotional and wonderful.
The Elegant Finally Party!

Vegas never sleeps! Staying up all night in the hotel hallways and cafe to jam with Harry, Daddy and Paul.